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New to Cats, trying to save a life

post #1 of 291
Thread Starter 
We're new to this forum, new to kittens and need some help.
We had a bit of a surprise the other day. Found a litter of newborn kittens in our shed. Most were already gone. One has lasted this long (3 days). We're guessing they were a day old when we found them. The mother is gone, we've seen her around before, but not since.

Please don't criticize, we're doing the best we can. But we think this one can be saved, but we're going to need some help to make it happen.

Let me describe the kitty and our current plan.
She's a grey and white. About 1 pound or less. She ( I know it's just a wild guess if it's a she or he but we had to pick one.) Anyway, she had her first bowel movement today. We were hoping she would eat more once that happened. She eats about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon every 2-3 hours. Then she just wants to sleep. We try to keep her clean with a damp towel. We purchased a bottle and powered KMR. So far we've had better luck with just an eyedropper. She does take the bottle occasionally, but not often.
I have a can of premixed KMR but haven't needed to open it up yet.
For a bed we have heated bottled water in a box wrapped in a towel to avoid direct contact. She is somewhat active, moving around and occasionally vocal. Usually when she moves off the bottles and gets cold. Rarely it seems for food. We have to encourage her to eat.

I guess that's enough for starters.
Our biggest question is: Is this enough food? How can we get her to eat more? Other suggestions?

Thanks a bunch.
post #2 of 291
This site can probably answer a lot of your question
post #3 of 291
Thread Starter 
Thanks Arlyn,
I'll take a look at that site and see what I'm missing.

She woke up this morning when I turned on the light. Then made suckling noises until I got the formula ready. She downed about 3/4 of a dropper before saying "no more" and falling asleep.
post #4 of 291
Do you have a postal scale that you can weigh her? If she's only a few days old she's probably just a few ounces, not anywhere near a pound. The amount they need to eat depends on body weight. A guideline to start is 8 cc's of milk (KMR)/ounce of body weight/day. So if the kitten weighs 3 ounces you would be feeding 24 cc's/day. Divided that into feedings every three hours and give about 3 cc's each feeding. A teaspoon is 5 cc's, so it sounds like the baby is getting just about the right amount. You need to weigh her every day to make sure she's gaining weight.

Can you post pictures? We may be able to give you a better idea of how old she is if we can see her.
post #5 of 291
Why would anyone criticize you? Your doing a wonderful thing! Im not an expert and Im expecting my first batch of kittens myself, but it seems like your doing everything perfectly. I hope someone more knowlegable then me will come along and help! Good luck with your baby and keep us posted!
post #6 of 291
Calismom's right- you saved this kittens life! Your a wonderful person, doing a wonderful thing!
As for the baby, I've bottle fed a few kittens, and it's a wonderful, extremly rewarding experience. Here's a couple sights on kitten devellopment:

And this is just on bottle feeding and stuff

Keep us updated on your little one!
post #7 of 291
Thread Starter 
Let's see if this works...

post #8 of 291
Aw, so adorable! Best of luck to you guys!
post #9 of 291
Thread Starter 
Thanks to everyone for their comments, suggestions and links. We're reading everything.

Most importantly it looks like she's getting enough to eat for now.

I started a spreadsheet to keep track of pertinent information. I don't have a scale. I'm going to check with my neighbor the nurse, maybe she does.

post #10 of 291
Bless you and your family - prayers for you all and that little one .
post #11 of 291
If you have a kitchen scale, many of these work in grams, you can easily convert grams to oz. Looking at those photos I'd say 250-300g. Keep us posted!
post #12 of 291
I'm sure everyone here will think you are a great person for saving this kitten. s/he looks very young. From what you described it seems like you are doing everything right, and the kitten is a fighter already for surviving when the others passed. If you dont have a kitchen scale, you can go to Walmart and buy one for like $7 or $8. Weigh him/her everyday to make sure s/he is gaining weight. Keep us updated on the kitten, please. Once again kudos to you for saving this kitten..
post #13 of 291
Yes, bless you for saving this little baby! You are an for doing this!
post #14 of 291
Thread Starter 
You are all too kind!

My wife and son are sharing in this, both work and rewards. He thinks he has a scale we can use. It goes to 5 lbs.

She did't eat much the last two feedings. the scale should help us keep track of her condition.

Bless you all for the kind words.
post #15 of 291
Yes, a scale is your best friend on judging health day to day. Honestly looks comparable to a few of my babies that are just 9 days old. So weight is probably somewhere between 160-210 grams or 5.9-7.4 ounces. Look at the pictures of "Ginger's kittens" for a comparable.

Hang in there it'll be a long road ahead. God bless you for what you're doing!

post #16 of 291
Bless you and your family for rescuing this cutie!! I'm not sure if anyone's mentioned this or not, but you want to make sure kitty stays warm. If needed, you can take an old sock and fill with plain rice. Warm it in the microwave until warm (probably less than a minute) and put next to kitty. If you think it might be too hot, wrap the sock in a hand towel or wash cloth.

Don't forget to stimulate elimination functions by gently rinsing the kitty's bottom with a warm wash cloth.

Keep us posted!
post #17 of 291
Oh, my, so tiny!
Your so good to take in a little kitten like that...if she's not eating, try having her go to the bathroom first. Other than that, I can't tell you too much more, just good luck to you and your little one
post #18 of 291
Thread Starter 
We now have a scale. She weighs in at 3 oz . She is tiny. but fortunatly she is strong. no problem moving around. She digs in her claws and climbs around whereever we'll let her.
Her eyes opened a bit today.
She is vocal. quiet and loud mews. lots of suckling noises.
Her umbilicle cord is trying to fall off. A tiny bit of blood at the connection. anything we can put on it? Should we remove it?
We think we'on day 4.
She's eating better today.
We've been stimulating but only bits of pee. No more bm yet.
all I can think of right now. Hard to type on a Palm.
Hope my wife is feeding her ok...
post #19 of 291
Sounds like you're doing a great job. A little oozing around the umbilical cord is normal. Don't try to pull it off, that will make it bleed more. Think of it like a scab. When it's healed underneath the cord will fall off naturally.
post #20 of 291
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by GoldyCat View Post
Sounds like you're doing a great job. A little oozing around the umbilical cord is normal. Don't try to pull it off, that will make it bleed more. Think of it like a scab. When it's healed underneath the cord will fall off naturally.
That's what I thought, but it's a bit overdue so I was wondering. She's a fiesty thing.
My wife named her Sassy.

Looking at Ginger's pictures, Sassy is even smaller than "Little".
post #21 of 291
Can't wait for another pic of Sassy!
post #22 of 291
Thread Starter 
How about a video? Here’s the link.
This is actually from today, 6 or 7 days old. I caught her trying to jump ship. I need to come up with another crib.
I checked the scale, but it’s right. She’s really only 3 oz. Things are going well. She’s been eating more almost right where the ‘chart’ says. Plus the exit path is working.
She’s getting even more feisty, harder to settle down during feeding. I did finally get her to take the bottle for a bit. So that will make things easier for us mommy types. We’ve been trying to hold her more, be more active with her. (and trying to figure out if She is a He…)
I think today is her 1 week birthday. We found her last Saturday and think she was less than a day old at the time.
post #23 of 291
When you bottle-feed Sassy, make sure she is in the correct feeding position.

Kittens nurse on their bellies, so don't hold her like a human infant on her back. Hold her under her belly or you can even hold her upright - just not on her back.
post #24 of 291
Thread Starter 
Yep, that's what we do.

However, that put's her in attack position.
So, it's a battle all the way through.
You would think she'd be a 3 oz weakling...

I usually put her on my stomach facing me. I may have to experiment holding her in the air her little claws flailing in the wind.

It's a learning process for both of us...
post #25 of 291
That video is wonderful!! She certainly is Sassy!! I have 5 kittens born 9 days ago and although they are 3 times the size they are alike in the into everything-ness! She looks so lively you must be so proud!
How are you coping with the round the clock feeds?.....my 5 seem to do nothing but eat and thankfully they have their Momma to take care of that!
I know other people have said this but you and your wife are amazing people for doing what you are doing, are you planning on keeping Sassy? I think it would be hard not to.....
keep the updates and pictures coming!
post #26 of 291
Thread Starter 
Our thoughts from the begining was to find a nice home for her. however, lately I was thinking that may change as she grows up. Now another problem has cropped up. I may be alergic to her. several times after feeding her my alergies have flaired up. I'm sitting up right now after her 4am feeding until the medicine kicks in.
I hope its just normal allegeries. I can see Sassy being a source of joy in our lives.
My son's girlfriend has rescued a cat before. She has expressed interest in taking her home. We'll see. That's a ways off yet.
post #27 of 291
Some have suggested wetting a wash cloth with distilled water and wiping the kitten all over with it. You aren't allergic to her fur, but rather to the proteins on the fur from her saliva, usually.

Of course, it IS spring, too!
post #28 of 291
If SHE turns out to be a HE, you can name him Rocky, because he's a fighter!
post #29 of 291
It could be lingering dander from her mother, kittens do not produce dander, nor do they shed until the adult coat comes in.
Dander, however, is the actual allergen, and dander comes from proteins in their saliva deposited on their coat as they groom, obviously, she doesn't groom herself yet.

It really may not be a problem, I have cat allergies and I live with three.
You take precautions and medicines and you do build up resistances to it.

The biggest precaution is no kitties in the bedroom, keep it dander free.

Glad she's hangin in there, she's (he's) a real fighter, keep up the good work, and bless you for even trying.
post #30 of 291
Aww, wow, she's so cute, and your so wonderful to do this It's a really rewarding experience, and it sounds like your doing everything right!
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